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Bull market needs no taming

The U.S. bull market (^GSPC) may look a little long in the tooth but all signs point to further gains says Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Investments. He's coined the term "TINA" [there is no alternative] when describing stocks, telling Yahoo Finance, “with ultra low interest rates, with ultra low inflation, there is no alternative. It’s a TINA market and you can still buy despite being in the sixth year of a bull market.”  

Smith notes that bull markets can remain alive and well until the economy starts to show signs of slowing.  “They die in anticipation of the next recession and really there are no signs flashing, any warnings that a recession is imminent.”

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Recent Commerce Department data supports Smith’s point, U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter grew 3.5%. According to FactSet, fourth quarter GDP will grow at a 3% clip and will keep that pace through 2015. As the economic expansion continues, Smith expects the Federal Reserve to raise rates in slow, baby steps, keeping the market at ease.

Although Smith counts stocks, which in his view are reasonably valued, as his top investment choice, he admits U.S. government debt is not a bad bet either. “Relative to other sovereign debt, the U.S. Treasury looks darn good at 2.36%. When you look at the German Bund at 0.8% or Italian or Spanish debt that is below our 10-Year Treasury yield that is remarkable.”

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